|COWBOYS AND MAVS: DIFFERENT SUMMER NEIGHBORHOODS|
|by Mike Fisher||Sun, Aug 24, 2008, 10:58 AM|
We stumbled onto a pair of exclusive stories this week – one Cowboys-related, one Mavs-related – that tell nutshell stories of the atmospheres surrounding the two franchises at this moment. For the Cowboys, it’s about Tony Romo movin’ on up. For the Mavs, it’s about moving on back, to where they once were, with the journeyman Devean George.
The inside angles:
We broke the story at that Romo is leaving his condo near the Galleria (where a co-tenant is Marion Barber) to instead become a real-live grown-up homeowner, in Cottonwood Valley. After some deliberation, we’ve decided to not release the address of the luxe pad that is his target; we’d hate to turn his prospective new front yard into an “American Idol’’-tryouts mob scene. (Nor do we want vegan vixen Carrie Underwood sneaking through the security gates for a catfight with meat-eating Jessica Simpson. No, wait, maybe we do. …)
Anyway, all is about to be right with the Romessica world. and Tony is closer to a golf course … I mean, closer to the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters. It’s big-time security over in this ‘burb, gatekeepers everywhere. And it is about golf. When he’s not focusing on Super Bowls and whatnot, the swimming pool in the backyard of his $700,000 “Spanish Mediterranean’’ home (5,551 square feet, five bedrooms, a gameroom, a wet bar, a study and a three-car garage) is near the Cottonwood course, where they used to play the first two rounds of the Byron Nelson. It’s also just a couple of long fairway drives from the TPC.
So Tony is closer to Valley Ranch. And maybe the Cowboys just inched closer to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Mavs’ personnel department is, at least for the moment, on a treadmill. It’s not that the re-signing of Devean George is necessarily an awful thing – it might be uninspired, but it’s not awful.
Our man David Lord (who knows the NBA’s rules and regulations as well as many of the league’s front-office types) guides us to a “Whoa,-Wait-A-Minute!’’ reaction when he reflected on one notable detail. If the quotes detailing this transaction are correct, somebody’s gone braindead on the Devean deal. Because George again has the ability to refuse any trade!
(per George's agent) on the re-signing:“George and the Dallas Mavericks have reached an agreement on a new two-year contract worth about $4 million, according to his representative. Agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the deal soon will be made official and includes a player option for George to return to free agency after the coming season.’’
Um, what? A player option? Really? You do know what that means, don’t you?
That deal, as structured, cannot be a two-year deal with an opt-out (such a deal is not allowed) but instead is must actually be a ONE-year deal with an option. So at this point, the other year is “to be determined’’ -- and such determination is totally under the control of George. (Again, this is based on the accuracy of Bartlestein/Stein wording.)
Why does that matter? Because, in that format, George again has the ability to refuse any trade! It's merely a one-year deal with Bird Rights at the end, just like last year. Until George has exercised that option for a second year (which he could wait to do as late as the end of June 2009), he can turn down any trade for any reason whatsoever.
The last time the Mavs engaged themselves with George’s veto power, it created a controversial mess as they attempted to finalize a major trade. And now, given a mulligan, they set themselves up for the exact same headache?
Instead, Devean George gets the $4-mil mulligan. Meanwhile, Tony Romo gets the $700,000 house on the golf course. And the Mavs and Cowboys – at least in the court of public opinion’s judgment of their moves -- find themselves in rather different neighborhoods.
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